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Quotes About Algebra

Quotes tagged as "algebra" (showing 1-19 of 19)
Frances Ann Lebowitz
“In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra. ”
Frances Ann Lebowitz

James Jones
“He could not believe that any of them might actually hit somebody. If one did, what a nowhere way to go: killed by accident; slain not as an individual but by sheer statistical probability, by the calculated chance of searching fire, even as he himself might be at any moment. Mathematics! Mathematics! Algebra! Geometry! When 1st and 3d Squads came diving and tumbling back over the tiny crest, Bell was content to throw himself prone, press his cheek to the earth, shut his eyes, and lie there. God, oh, God! Why am I here? Why am I here? After a moment's thought, he decided he better change it to: why are we here. That way, no agency of retribution could exact payment from him for being selfish.”
James Jones, The Thin Red Line

Susan Beth Pfeffer
“So what if I don't learn algebra?'

'Someday schools will be open again,' Mom said. 'Things will be normal. You need to do your work now for when that happens.'

'That's never going to happen,' Jon said. 'And even if schools do open up somewhere, they're not going to open up here. There aren't enough people left.'

'We don't know how many people are like us, holed up, making do until times get better.'

'I bet whoever they are, they aren't studying algebra,' Jon said.”
Susan Beth Pfeffer, This World We Live In

Gregory David Roberts
“Friendship is something that gets harder to understand, every damn year of my life.Friendship is like a kind of algebra test that nobody passes. In my worst moods, I think the best you can say is that a friend is anyone you don't despise.”
Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram

Philip Kerr
“I made an appointment to see him and then ordered another beer. While I was drinking it I did some doodling on a piece of paper, the algebraic kind that you hope will help you think more clearly. When I finished doing that, I was more confused than ever. Algebra was never my strong subject.”
Philip Kerr, March Violets

“Sometimes in studying Ramanujan's work, [George Andrews] said at another time, "I have wondered how much Ramanujan could have done if he had had MACSYMA or SCRATCHPAD or some other symbolic algebra package.”
Robert Kanigel, The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan

“I wouldn’t have minded school if they taught you important things like how to have good sex and what brand of wine is the best… But for some reason they were hell bent on teaching me algebra”
Ben Mitchell

Huston Piner
“On Algebra - "We're a month into it, and I'm planning to start a real protest movement, one to have X and Y removed from the alphabet. Z is also suspect as far as I'm concerned...Damn it! They put a man on the moon; can't they find some way to end the scourge of Algebra?”
Huston Piner, My Life as a Myth

Rudolf Clausius
“The algebraic sum of all the transformations occurring in a cyclical process can only be positive, or, as an extreme case, equal to nothing.

[Statement of the second law of thermodynamics, 1862]”
Rudolf Clausius, Abhandlungen

Paul R. Halmos
“[Mathematics] is security. Certainty. Truth. Beauty. Insight. Structure. Architecture. I see mathematics, the part of human knowledge that I call mathematics, as one thing—one great, glorious thing. Whether it is differential topology, or functional analysis, or homological algebra, it is all one thing. ... They are intimately interconnected, they are all facets of the same thing. That interconnection, that architecture, is secure truth and is beauty. That's what mathematics is to me.”
Paul R. Halmos

Mal Peet
“I can explain to you why algebra is useful. But that is not what algebra is really for.' He moved his fingers gently on my temples. 'It's to keep what is in here healthy. PE for the head. And the great thing is you can do it sitting down.”
Mal Peet, Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal

Mal Peet
“Algebra messed up one of those divisions between things that help you make sense of the world and keep it tidy. Letters make words; figures make numbers. They had no business getting tangled up together.”
Mal Peet, Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal

“As for methods I have sought to give them all the rigour that one requires in geometry, so as never to have recourse to the reasons drawn from the generality of algebra.”
Augustin-Louis Cauchy, Cours D'Analyse de L'Ecole Royale Polytechnique

“The teacher manages to get along still with the cumbersome algebraic analysis, in spite of its difficulties and imperfections, and avoids the smooth infinitesimal calculus, although the eighteenth century shyness toward it had long lost all point.”
Felix Klein, Elementary Mathematics from an Advanced Standpoint: Geometry

“As to the need of improvement there can be no question whilst the reign of Euclid continues. My own idea of a useful course is to begin with arithmetic, and then not Euclid but algebra. Next, not Euclid, but practical geometry, solid as well as plane; not demonstration, but to make acquaintance. Then not Euclid, but elementary vectors, conjoined with algebra, and applied to geometry. Addition first; then the scalar product. Elementary calculus should go on simultaneously, and come into vector algebraic geometry after a bit. Euclid might be an extra course for learned men, like Homer...”
Oliver Heaviside, Electromagnetic Theory

“Chemistry has the same quickening and suggestive influence upon the algebraist as a visit to the Royal Academy, or the old masters may be supposed to have on a Browning or a Tennyson. Indeed it seems to me that an exact homology exists between painting and poetry on the one hand and modem chemistry and modem algebra on the other. In poetry and algebra we have the pure idea elaborated and expressed through the vehicle of language, in painting and chemistry the idea enveloped in matter, depending in part on manual processes and the resources of art for its due manifestation.”
James Joseph Sylvester

Mal Peet
“Grandad taught me that the alien signs and symbols of algebraic equations were not just marks on paper. They were not flat. They were three-dimensional, and you could approach them from different directions, look at them from different ways, stand them on their heads. You could take them apart and put them back together in a variety of shapes, like Legos. I stopped being scared of them.”
Mal Peet, Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal

John Derbyshire
“Mathematicians call it “the arithmetic of congruences.” You can think of it as clock arithmetic. Temporarily replace the 12 on a clock face with 0. The 12 hours of the clock now read 0, 1, 2, 3, … up to 11. If the time is eight o’clock, and you add 9 hours, what do you get? Well, you get five o’clock. So in this arithmetic, 8 + 9 = 5; or, as mathematicians say, 8 + 9 ≡ 5 (mod 12), pronounced “eight plus nine is congruent to five, modulo twelve.”
John Derbyshire, Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics

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